After repeatedly denying all ties with Beijing, Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest maker of telecoms equipment has reiterated its stance that it has no connection with the Chinese government.
Mr. John Suffolk, the company’s cyber security chief told MPs on Monday that the Chinese owned firm has always allowed outsiders to test the efficacy of its products and analyse them for flaws. In addition, it has never been by China or any other government to “do anything untoward.”
“We stand naked in front of the world, but we would prefer to do that, because it enables us to improve our products. We want to find things, whether they find one or one thousand, we don’t care. We are not embarrassed by what people find,” he said.
Huawei Technologies has suffered a major setback after the blacklisting by Washington. President Trump championed a campaign and urged the country’s allies to block Huawei from their 5G network, accusing the firm of a possible security threat. US companies are barred from selling supplies to Huawei, except authorised by the government to do so.
Google has withdrawn its Android mobile operating system license and Huawei mobile phones which will be shipped will not come with pre-installed Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Imagine having a mobile phone without access to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google maps and other exciting apps?
Huawei has repeatedly denied the claims of having ties with China, or the military.
“We’ve never had a request from the Chinese government to do anything untoward at all. We have never been asked by the Chinese government or any other government, I might add, to do anything that would weaken the security of a product.”
MPs raised the issue about the Chinese human rights abuse. There was a report of about a million Muslims kept in detention centres in Xinjiang province. They inquired if Huawei was requested to submit codes or unlock the users’ mobile phones, given the requirement by the Chinese intelligence law that individuals and associations should comply whenever there is a demand for it.
Mr Suffolk responded:
“We have had to go through a period of clarification with the Chinese government that has come out and made it quite clear that this is not the requirement of any company. We’ve had that validated via our lawyers and revalidated by Clifford Chance…according to our legal advice, that does not require Huawei to undertake anything that weakens Huawei’s position in terms of security.”
Asked if the company would be able to access the UK’s 5g network remotely, with its equipment. Mr Suffolk responded that Huawei is a provider of telecoms equipment but has no access to the data running across that network. He explained further that there are other vendors; Huawei is just one out of 200 others who are all providing different equipment that would finally make up a whole of the 5G network in the UK.
MPs was concerned about the possibility of tracking an individual user with a 5G network. Mr Suffolk’s response about the mobile operator’s requirement to constantly track a user’s phone proved that the operator can track a user at any time. However, he told MPs that Huawei was only responsible for only 30% of the entire components.